Chart of Managerial Decisions by uwm73918

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									                                                                              Fon Sundaravej


                           Management Misinformation Systems
                                 By Russell L. Ackoff

The article presents five erroneous assumptions commonly made by MIS designers,
which are (1) the critical deficiency under which most managers operate is the lack of
relevant information; (2) the manager needs the information he wants; (3) if a manager
has the information he needs, his decision making will improve; (4) better
communication between managers improves organizational performance; and (5) a
manager does not have to understand how his information system works, only how to use
it. According to Ackoff, a solution to overcome these beliefs is designing an MIS to be
embedded in a management control system. A suggested procedure to design an MIS
starts from identifying each type of managerial decision and its relationship by using
decision flow chart. All organization’s managerial functions should get involved during
the system design. Different types of managerial decisions use different decision models
to define required information and predict outcomes. Decisions with the same
requirements should be aggregated to prevent the information overload to managers. The
system should be designed in a way that can detect its deficiencies.

This article was written in 1967 when MIS was still a young discipline. Ackoff
thoroughly presents his idea in this article with only single reference and without a
connection to theories in other disciplines like the subsequent articles of “The Duality of
Technology: Rethinking the Concept of Technology in Organizations” by Orlikowski
(1992) which borrows Theory of Structuration by Giddens (1979, 1984) and “The Impact
of Information Systems on Organizations and Markets” by Gurbaxanl and Whang (1991)
which refers to two economics theories. Ackoff does not demonstrate a case study to
support his proposal like the article “Transforming Work through Information
Technology: A Comprehensive Case Study of Geographic Information Systems in
County Government” by Robey and Sahay (1996) which conducts a case study to assess
transforming work through information technology.

The article appears to be useful guideline for the present systems development life cycle
(SDLC) in the systems analysis and design subfield in MIS. There are discussions of
systems requirement gathering (Identifying each type of managerial decision and its
relationship by using decision flow chart.), logical and physical design (The system
should be designed in a way that can detect its deficiencies.), and user involvement in
every phase of the systems life cycle (All organization’s managerial functions should get
involved during the system design.). Even though, the ideas presented here do not refer to
completed phases of the SDLC, these ideas can be considered a beneficial start for
subsequent MIS researchers and practitioners in the area of information systems analysis
and design, for example, the article of Robey and Sahay (1996) that represents many
thoughts related to the idea of systems analysis and design. After all, the most important
insight gained from this article is the introduction of a concern on impacts of IS to
management in organizations.




IS 7890: IS Research Seminar                                                     Spring 2006

								
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